AskPat 429 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to AskPat 429. Thank you so much for joining me today. We have a great question from Karin, over in the Netherlands actually, which is awesome. She has an amazing accent. But before we get to Karin's question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is AWeber.com.
It's the email service provider that I recommend for everybody who's just starting out with building their email list. They've helped me grow my list to over 120,000 people. They're great. They have great customer service, great interface. It's just super easy to use, especially when you're just starting out and you're kind of worried about the technology and stuff. They are one of the most popular email service providers out there. That's for a good reason. They're great. They've been around for the longest time as well. Plus, they just make it incredibly easy for you to draw forums on your website, and they connect with third party companies too, which just makes it really easy for you to do what you need to do for your business. Check it out. AWeber. Go to AWeber.com/AskPat and you'll get a 30 day free trial. 30 days for free. Check it out. Again that's AWeber.com/AskPat.
Alright. Here's today's question from Karin.
Karin: Hi Pat. My name is Karin from the Netherlands. First of all, I wanted to say you are really awesome. That is a word I've come to know from you. Not only because you use it that much, but also because as you are successful in your business and financial realm, you are such an awesome father and husband and person overall, doing the things in Ghana that you are doing. You are awesome. Thank you for that, for setting such a great example in how to run a business.
Now I've come to learn so much from you that now my following has become quite large with a newsletter subscribers. Almost 5,000 and on Facebook going toward 3,000. I'm getting a lot of emails, as you will imagine. That is also because what I really found very important was to keep the relationship very good with my following. I have responded and followed up quite good. But it's getting harder and harder, and I don't think I'll be able to keep up. Have you got any tips, tricks, advice on how to cope with this? Because it's my little problem, but I think it's your really large problem being so big as you are. I know you have Mindy, is she called, for your email. I've got someone to handle my email that is business-like, but there are always those emails that are personal and so lovely from the people that listen to me and watch me on YouTube and everything. What to do? Thank you so much for featuring my question. Thank you for everything you do, and keep it up. Thank you Pat! Bye bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Karin. Thank you so much for the question and the kind words, and especially you taking the time to mention my family, and Ghana, and all the things I've been doing there. Thank you for noticing that, I really appreciate that because I do my best to make sure that I keep my family and my life as I begin to grow my business and do things for others who might not be so opportunistic as a lot of us are in this world. Yeah. Thank you for that.
Now speaking of growing, it seems like you're doing an amazing job of doing that, Karin. I remember when I was in the first stages of my business answering every single email that came in, and replying, and being personable with everybody who had commented on my site and all those sorts of things really helped out a lot. It's obviously working for you too. If, for those of you who are listening to this and you're just starting out, I mean when you're starting out, you might think you're at a disadvantage because there's so many people who are bigger than you and who have been around for longer and all those sorts of things. But you know what? You're small, so you have the ability to make a true, personal connection with people. That's something that, when you come to this stage in the game, where I'm at, it's very difficult to do. But there are strategies you can use to make it easier on yourself as you begin to grow.
I'm glad you mentioned hiring help already. You've gotten somebody to help with all the business stuff, because that is stuff that somebody else could operate and help you with. That's great. I'm so happy to hear that you're doing that already. But these personal emails that come out, yup, they're very important for you to answer. You don't want to leave them unanswered, but there's a few things you should be doing as you're growing into this stage. Again, congratulations on growing and growing even faster as I'm sure it's going to go. But you also are smart in asking for help on this, and thinking ahead of time. Because I kind of let it go without really trying to figure it out, to a point where I had about 10,000 unread emails in my inbox. I just felt so bad every time a new email came in, I just knew that that person was going to be let down, or they weren't going to get a response because I had 10,000 others who I had to get to first. It was just all bad.
Now I did hire Jessica, who helped out. Mindy is my assistant here who edits AskPat. She's just as awesome as everybody else on my team. But Jessica's amazing because she helps out with understanding what emails I should be answering first before any other emails. She has a specific folder in Gmail that she places the really, really important emails that I, and only I, can answer. That goes in the urgent folder. There's also a less urgent folder for questions and still a little bit personable, but maybe not quite as time sensitive. Those go in the less urgent folder. Then Jessica takes care of a lot of the answers for stuff that the answers already exist, or she's answered that question before in other email, or there's a blog post she can just link to, or what have you.
Now in that urgent folder, there's certain strategies that I use. One is I batch process my emails, just like I'm batch processing these AskPat episodes. This is the fifth one today in the last hour that I've recorded, because it just makes it so much easier for you to focus on just that one thing you need to do. Right now I'm in AskPat recording, podcasting mode. On Sundays at 2 p.m. during nap time when the kids are napping, I'm typically in email mode for two hours clearing out a lot of what's in my urgent box at that time. Now I do answer my emails at other times during the week, but that's how I get rid of all the emails that are in my urgent folder before I start on Monday. That's kind of a strategy. You want to schedule it, too. That's sort of the other thing. Batch process, but you want to schedule when those things happen. When you do that, you'll get through more emails much faster. You don't have to worry about transition time being lost between going from one email to another.
I hope Karin, you're not at the point where you are answering every email as they come in. A big eye opener for me was when Jessica was training me, and I hired her to kind of help me with this email stuff. She was hard on me. She was really hard on me, but she really made me realize that if an email didn't get answered in 24 hours, it was not the end of the world and nothing bad would happen. Nobody said anything bad by waiting more than 24 hours. Well, if somebody waits more than a week, then yeah. But there's a certain expectation with email that people aren't going to be able to answer it right away because I think we all expect that we're all busy. Now, if you set the expectation that you're going to email back within an hour and you don't, well then you've messed up.
But there's another strategy here I want to share with you, Karin. This is going to be extremely helpful for you moving forward. For everybody else out there who's starting to grow a big email list, and starting to get people who are emailing them, and you might find that you don't have enough time to email them as much as you'd like, set the expectation up front that it might just take a little bit of time to get back. Of course, you do want to get back. I do my best to get back to all of those who email me, especially the urgent ones. Again, I have Jessica to kind of filter those ahead of time. She's learned over time, kind of which ones are urgent and which ones are not and so on and so forth. I do set expectations before people send a message to me.
Karin, at the place on your website for example, if there's a contact form. I would recommend instead of sharing an email address, to recommend that you have people go to a contact page. It's going to help you control what's on that page and what people see, and hear, and read, or listen to before they get to email you. There, you can also include some answers to frequently asked questions as well, which can be very very helpful. But you can also set the expectation that a) you are not going to be able to answer within an hour, or you will have a lot of time, or you have a lot of things going on and a lot of people emailing you, that it's going to take some time to get back to them. That way, if they don't hear from you within 24, 48, 72 hours, they're not going to feel terrible about it, because you've told them. You're not lying. That's that. I wouldn't say a specific number of hours. “I'll get back to you within a week,” and if you don't do that, well then you've messed up. But if you just say, “You know, I'm getting a load of people who are emailing me. I want to respect every single one that comes in and I read them in order, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.” Setting that expectation up front is the number one thing to do.
Also be honest. You know, you don't want to lie when you're doing that. But again, having that on a contact form on your website. You create a new WordPress page for example, or whatever platform you're using, create a new page. Have a form on there that people have to fill out, and any FAQs on that particular page as well. But have those expectations so that when people click send, they don't expect an email back right away. That will help you. Then you get to collect these emails over time and batch process them and answer them all in one full swoop, or a few swoops throughout the day or week.
Now here's the final strategy I have for you that you might want to test with. I know a lot of people who do this, and they do it very well. I also know a lot of people who have implemented this strategy and it's just not for them. This is responding with a video. Now there are certain tools out there. I don't know them off the top of my head, but there's even Twitter for example. But there are certain tools where you are able to reply with a video. If you're on your mobile device, it just makes it even more easier. You can do it on the go, and you can batch process these. When you think about it, especially if it's a personalized email that you do want to make sure that people know that you read it and that you care, and all those sorts of things. When you respond in a video, first of all, that's just incredibly high value and different. People will be blown away just because of that. But they'll be able to hear your words and your emotions, and how much you care. That takes that to the next level as well.
But think about it. A video, maybe you limit it to 60 seconds, one minute. In order to leave the same kind of emotion, and feedback, and feeling in people who are reading this reply from you or getting this reply from you, it's going to take much longer to write an email. You're actually going to save time and provide more value by responding in a video. Now this doesn't always work like I said with people based on how comfortable they are, what they're like on videos. Just something to explore. I would recommend checking out video email response software on Google or something like that.
Karin, I hope this answers your question. I want to wish you all the best of luck as you grow. These are growing pains that we all go through. It's kind of like when we're teething. You need those teeth to come in, but it hurts, right? Just wishing you all the best and I hope these tips help you stay sane moving forward. I appreciate it. Now we're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt. Yes, all the way to the Netherlands. Didn't say that correctly. All the way to the Netherlands. We're going to send you a shirt free of charge for having your question featured here on the show. You're going to hear from Jessica, actually, who's going to reach out to you to collect your information so we can send that to you as soon as we can. Probably in the next couple of weeks. I also want to thank everybody who has sent in, or who will send in a question, because obviously this show, AskPat, I mean it would just not exist without you. Thank you so much. If you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, which, like with Karin, you will get a t-shirt if it is, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank today's sponsor, AWeber. AWeber.com/AskPat is where you go to get a 30 day free trial to the number one list-based email service provider program. That is going to help you build your list. They've helped me build my list to over 120,000. I recommend it for you if you're just starting out. They're great. They connect with other services very easily. They have an amazing customer service team. Their live chat feature is very helpful as well. They integrate well with a lot of tools that you might have heard of like LeadPages, OptinMonster, OptinSkin, and then all those other great ones that people use. They have great forums that you can just plop into your website right away. They even have their own plugin to help you do that, too, and a mobile device to help you keep track of your tracks on the go. Check it out.AWeber.com/AskPat. Again, that's AWeber.com/AskPat for a 30 day free trial.
Thanks so much for listening in this week, I appreciate it. If you have a second to head on over to iTunes and leave a quick review, I would really appreciate that. I've seen maybe two, one or two come in each week. I know we could do better than that. It would be really helpful. Hopefully this episode was helpful for you. If it was, just really quick head on over to iTunes, leave a review, an honest review for AskPat. Just look up AskPat in iTunes.
As always, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote is the final one of this week of quotes, which come from the commencement speeches. This one's from former CEO of AOL, Steve Case, at UNC at Chapel Hill. He said, “Most of you will not only have multiple jobs, you will have multiple careers. The key is to keep learning. Be curious. Be open. Be flexible. Let your life unfold as a series of chapters. Don't be so fixated on a specific ending, that you neglect to open the door when opportunity knocks.”
You got this guys. Take care. Have a great weekend. I'll talk to you next week in the next set of AskPat for you. Cheers.
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